7:01pm (Mountain) I’m full of steak and fries and red wine and have the TV tuned into MSNBC. Lord, that last part must mean I’m already drunk.
7:03pm Brian Williams is the moderator, plus Tim Russert for weight. Perhaps literally. In a welcome break from CNN’s format, Williams is skipping the photo ops and other BS and getting straight to the debate.
7:05pm “What’s wrong or right with Bush’s stimulus package?” Romney has this question, and he’s answering in quite some detail. And by that I mean, I’m concentrating a lot more on the Cabernet than the candidate.
7:07pm To McCain: “Will you vote to make the Bush tax cuts permanent?” McCain comes right out and says he’s done that twice already, and that he’ll cut corporate taxes, too. He’s done well in debates before, but even so I’ve always thought he started off weak and tired. That doesn’t seem true tonight. Of course, I still don’t want to vote for the First Amendment-busting MF.
7:09pm to Giuliani: “What do you think of cutting taxes?” “Oh, nasty taxes!” Well, close enough. Rudy is tying together tax cuts with economic growth, and he sounds OK, I suppose. But now that he’s talking about reducing regulations, I’m really getting genuinely excited.
7:11pm Russert: It used to be Iraq, but now the issue is the economy. And he’s asking McCain. Ron Paul and the other guy just got totally stiffed. Speaking of stiffed, it’s damn near martini time. Bring on a commercial break, please.
7:11.5pm Also, McCain is answering. His answer pretty much boils down to “Experience.”
7:12pm Huckabee claims he has the voters’ trust. Not this voter, brother.
7:13pm Huckabee wants to build a great big highway. Ron Paul is seething, because he just know it’s the fifth sign of the coming of the North American Union.
7:14pm To Romney: “Are these other jokers really tax cutters?” Again, Paul got stiffed. Again, Romney appears stiff. You know what bugs me about Romney? If his hair were even only slightly curly, you’d swear he was a Viagra-laced penis. The man is erect.
7:14.5pm Mormon Erectus.
7:16pm I take it back — McCain now looks lost and is stumbling over a softball question.
7:18pm Woo-hoo! A question for Paul. “Should the government have any role in stimulating the economy?” A GREAT question for a libertarian candidate. And how does Paul respond? With a quickfire, rambling answer covering everything from the Fed to the weak dollar to a “trillion dollar a year foreign policy.” Folks, we have a two trillion dollar Federal budget, most of which is transfer payment. Paul is, in short, a big fat, high-pitched liar.
7:20pm To Giuliani: Honestly, I didn’t hear the question, because I was busy calling Paul names and sipping wine. But whatever it was, it gave Rudy yet another chance to tell the story about the time he told the Saudis to take their check and shove it. I like Rudy a little less every day — but I love that story. Also, he sounds like he knows he’s about to lose in Florida. And thus endeth his candidacy.
7:22pm I wonder when McCain is going to give us some “straight talk” about how he and Russ Feingold raped the First Amendment.
7:23pm Dude needs a cocktail if he’s going to make it through another one of these.
7:25pm Mike Huckabee just backhandedly denounced Reaganomics. Forget if he’s right or wrong — how’s that going to play in the Sunbelt?
7:27pm Once you start to think of Romney as a six-foot-tall erect penis, you just can’t see him any other way. I mean, watch the guy with that in mind and tell me I’m wrong. “We’re the party of fiscal responsibility. Bulging, thrusting fiscal responsibility.”
7:28pm Rudy is running on experience. So is Hillary. It might work for her, but it’s looking less and less like it will work for Giuliani.
7:29pm What’s going on with the left side of Paul’s hair?
7:30pm Oh, great — a local reporter is asking questions submitted by local people. Neither seems ready for prime time, not even on MSNBC. And that’s saying something, kids.
7:33pm Gen Barry Mccaffrey (ret) says the US needs an Army of about 800,000. The question is, how do we get there without a draft? What a stupid question. Remember the Army that won the first Gulf War in 100 hours? If we reduce recruiting standards to the levels we had in 1991, we’d have an Army larger than the 1.1 million men we had wearing green back then. Good thing Brian Williams has an editor to catch these things, yes?
7:35pm Russert is willing to give each candidate 30 seconds to explain why Iraq was a good idea. 30 whole seconds!
7:36pm Giuliani turned his answer into an anti-Hillary crusade. Dude, that worked for you last fall, but right now you’ve got to focus on McCain and Romney.
7:37pm Paul is against war and other bad things.
7:37.5pm Huckabee is thankful for George Bush, Jesus, and puppies. Or something. Man, I hate this guy, even when I kind of agree with him.
7:39pm Blessed be — a commercial break! And that means I get to finish my wine in one big sip and go mix my first martini. Back in a flash.
7:43pm Williams just used the word “exigency.” Does he think he’s working for PBS or something?
7:44pm The Giant Man Penis has some penetrating insights on China and the economy.
7:46pm Giuliani is also talking about China, and asking “What can we sell to China?” I dunno, maybe some Indian prescription drugs?
7:47pm Williams reminds the candidates to “mind the blinking lights.” He doesn’t have to tell Ron Paul twice. They’ve been advising him since the ’80s.
7:48pm Huckabee says “we’re peeeeenalized” and all I could think of was Romney’s bobbing head. This is going to be a long, long debate, folks.
7:49pm Huckabee: “Drugs, pimps, gamblers… non-Republicans.” Tell that to Bill Bennett, bub.
7:50pm Huckabee says under the Fair Tax, we get to “choose the taxes.” My choice, as usual, is “none of the above.” My second choice is “tax this!”
7:52pm Credit where it’s due. Paul got to ask a question of McCain, and he took less than ten seconds and never once mentioned the Federal Reserve.
7:54pm Romney just claimed credit for getting pro and anti-gun control people together. The sound you just heard was millions of his votes getting sucked out of the South. It’s hard to see how McCain doesn’t become the nominee. It’s even harder to see me voting Republican next November.
7:56pm Giuliani just accused Romney of being too lawyerly. Which is probably true, especially if the lawyer in question is a six-foot man penis.
7:58pm When you talk about the weather, I tune you out. When presidential candidates are forced to talk about the weather, I worry about the fate of the American commonweal. And then I go pour myself a drink. Excuse me while I miss the next question or two.
8:01pm So I come back from refilling my martini glass, and Rudy is talking about nuclear energy, and McCain counters that he likes cap’n'trade and Joe Lieberman. Well, I like a big strong cocktail and just one candidate I can get behind. One out of two ain’t bad…
8:06pm Oh, crap. They came back.
8:07pm To Rudy: “Your polls suck. What happened?” You know what? The only thing worse than polls is talking about them, and the only thing worse than talking about polls is using them for fodder in a “debate” which is presumably about ideas.
8:09pm The question to McCain comes from his mom, who says that Republicans will have to “hold their nose” and vote for him. Cute. Useless, but cute.
8:11pm To Romney: “How do you run against BOTH Clintons?” Mitt says he can’t wait to see Bill Clinton in the White House with nothing to do. Oh, he’ll find someone to do in the White House. Er, something. Sorry.
8:13pm Also to Mitt: “How much of your own money are you spending on this campaign?” Romney dodged it, and looked weak doing so. Man, what a dick.
8:14pm Big giant throbbing penis.
8:15pm Romney is — again — answering the religious test question. I’ll call the man a giant man penis, but give him a break here. Being a Mormon does not automatically disqualify him from holding office.
8:17pm “Are you still in favor of abolishing social security?” Asked, of course, of Ron Paul. “Yes, but…” He wants to keep paying the elderly (ie, Florida voters) and do something something blank left unsaid for young people using the money we’re now spending on useless stuff like foreign policy.
8:19pm Huckabee has been talking for at least half an hour now. And people ask me how and why I invented drunkblogging.
8:22pm See my last comment, but replace the word “Huckabee” with “Romney.”
8:24pm Rudy says he wants to stop “illegal immigration at the border.” How many Miami residents got there via boat from Cuba? Smart play?
8:26pm Chuck Norris says McCain is too old to be President. Chuck Norris once said my baby was too old for diapers, and the next day the kid was potty trained.
8:28pm McCain is going to sic Rambo on Norris. In next week’s debate: Who wins a fight between Superman and Batman?
8:29pm Duh. Superman.
8:29.5pm Giuliani is saying something about being “off-agenda.” I have no idea what he’s talking about, but I do know that a yellow utility belt can’t beat flying and super-strength.
8:31pm The six-foot man-penis is running on his record, and his record is stiffly pro-life and anti-gay. Very stiffly anti-gay. Suspiciously stiffly and handsomely anti-gay.
8:33pm The question to McCain is: Aren’t you too angry to be President? Answer: “I’ll nuke the mother who suggested that.”
8:34pm To Huckabee: Aren’t you too close to Jesus? Answer: We’re not that close, although He’s always welcome to borrow our spare futon, any time He needs a place to crash.
8:35pm To Paul: Will you run as a third-party candidate? “I have no intention… no plan… no intention to do that… it might keep them on their toes.” I want so much to like Paul, but he just makes it impossible.
8:36pm It’s over! If I have any conclusive thoughts, I’ll write a post-debate conclusive-thoughts post in just a few minutes.